During the past weekend, my oldest daughter was married in a small, intimate wedding at the Rialto Square Theater in Joliet, Illinois.


  The Rialto doesn’t allow open flame so a Unity Candle Ceremony couldn’t be used.  As an alternative, my daughter chose to use sand to symbolize the union of two into one.  If you are not familiar with the Unity Sand Ceremony, there are different ways to perform the symbolic act, but the general idea is that by combining two colors of sand, it then becomes as difficult to separate the grains of sand as it is to separate the union of two in marriage.

Being true to myself, I’m always thinking of different ideas to use with children.  I wondered if we could somehow use the sand ceremony with children to help them understand the meaning of unity for Earth Day.  



Prior to performing the sand ceremony, talk to your children about ways you can work together to conserve our Earth’s precious resources.  Brainstorm different ideas with your children and write them down.  For suggestions on ways that families can work together in conservation efforts, see Teaching Kids Conservation Skills to Protect Tomorrow’s Resources.

To perform the ceremony – use two different colored sands (we purchased blue and green sand at Hobby Lobby.)  For an alternative to sand:  pour salt on a paper plate and color the salt by rubbing chalk in circular motions.  The salt will take on the color of the chalk.  

The “globes” in the picture above were also purchased at Hobby Lobby, but any kind of container will work.


Tell the children that, as a family, you will all work together to try to make choices that will conserve, re-purpose, or reuse resources together.  The purpose of the sand ceremony would indicate the unity of family conservation.

Each family member would then take turns folding the paper plates and pouring the sand into the chosen container.  If desired, the children can make handprints to show love and care for our Earth.  

The sand ceremony is a great way to help children understand that if we all work together and do our own small part, it can make a huge difference!